University of Houston launches new AI lab geared toward oilfield tech
The University of Houston at Sugar Land is now home to an innovative lab that will work to find new ways to use artificial intelligence in the oilfield.
Dubbed the Artificial Intelligence Industry Incubator and Digital Oilfield Lab at the University of Houston, the facility will allow faculty, students, and energy professionals to develop technologies and solutions to increase efficiency and boost oil field safety through machine learning, according to a release from UH.
The lab opened in late 2020 and is part of the College of Technology's Advanced Technology and Innovation Laboratory. It represents a partnership with the UH College of Technology and the AI Innovation Consortium based in Louisville, Kentucky.
The consortium also includes Pennsylvania State University, the University of Louisville, Louisiana State University, and a number of corporations.
According to the release from UH, several companies have already agreed to work with the lab on projects that will find ways to use AI for predictive analytics, visual inspection, and health and safety measures.
"This incubator program emphasizes the need to build projects grounded in clear business value, with technologically rich and hands-on initiatives, and an engaging industry/academia partnership," Konrad Konarski, chair and director of operations at AIIC, says in a statement. "This allows us to focus on the most relevant AI technologies that have immediate impact and value to the oil and gas industry."
Too, the lab aims to provide students with valuable experiences that they can likely leverage into a job upon graduation.
"The laboratory and incubator will allow our students to contribute to the various applied research and proof of concept work currently underway and in the future," David Crawley, professor of practice in the College of Technology, says in a statement. "This includes working with the AIIC's commercial partners to create opportunities to move their incubator experience and advanced academic background into jobs at participating operations."The university has also made headway in recent months using machine learning to better the search for "super hard" materials, such as diamonds. It also launched a new drug discovery institute in November.